Relationships: are you a tick in your relationship?

Are you a tick or a dog? Ok, that might sound funny. Let me explain.

I was once told an analogy by a very brilliant friend of mine and communication professor about relationships. He said that in relationships, people can act as ticks. A tick is a parasite that lives off of another organism by consuming the blood of that organism. Ticks are a vector of many diseases, including Lyme Disease and a host of fevers. Yummy. You might wonder why the heck you are now reading this article.

I use the tick and dog analogy because it is easy. A dog goes outside to play and is as happy as can be. As he is rolling around in mud, he realizes something is itching him. It is an annoying itch, and he cannot help but start biting the irritated area. Soon enough, his playtime becomes consumed with trying to relieve that dreaded itch, but it will not go away!

The tick is totally dependent on that dog for survival. It will embed itself deeper and deeper because it needs the blood to live! It can’t possibly leave the dog!

Relationships can be hard. We love our partners and need them, but sometimes that crosses over into feelings of desperation and not being able to live without them. When this happens, we slowly become a tick. A tick is someone who derives all of their feelings and emotions based on the response of their host- they are co-dependent and cannot live independently.

One of the reasons I am writing this is because for many years I operated as a tick. I was so desperate for approval from men I had dated that when I did not receive it, I would feel deflated. Through my relationship with God I learned that the only way I could stop being a tick was to depend on God as my host- only He could provide me with the love I was desperately yearning for.

When I started turning my dependency and trust to God for my life-support, amazing things started happening. I became more independent of needing approval from men. I became more loving, and able to respond to blocked goals and disappointment with patience. I no longer felt the need to lash back at someone who acted hurtful or angry towards me. I became a person rooted more and more in God, and he was helping produce good things in my heart that affected my response to mankind.

Learning that I was a tick helped me to be a better partner to my husband. I love him dearly, but I don’t NEED him to survive. I know that he is first God’s kid. I also know that he is not perfect, and sometimes he will make me sad me or make me angry. However, knowing that I can turn to God for comfort and love means that Brian is no longer responsible in my eyes to do everything. No human will ever understand the depths of my heart, but God sure does. That freedom allows me to turn to God when I am hurt with my husband and gain strength, patience and love. Then I can respond to Brian in a way that pleases God. And that also pleases my husband, who is grateful that I am not an annoying, nagging, itching tick that he just wants to expel off his back! Ha!

As women, I think we can all be encouraged to do a little less nagging on our spouses and a little more pleading with God for help in the hairy areas of our lives. This does so much for our faith and trust in God, and also improves our relationships at home. Then we are able to go play and laugh and enjoy life with our husbands- like two happy dogs jumping around in mud, together! 🙂

1 Peter 3:3-4
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, but rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.


  1. says

    This is a great post! I think it’s a great reminder for all of wives. It’s easy to slip into being a tick in a relationship depending on what is going on in our lives, I know that I can even allow circumstances to dictate that at times. I think this was a great analogy!

  2. says

    Some great thoughts, and I’ll certainly take it onboard with my writing. I can’t help but think you should take a look at a film called ‘Freedom Deep’ when talking about ‘Book of Eli’. The Denzel film shares a staggering amount of similarities to this independent Australian film, particularly the main characters and themes. Hell, even a lot of the shots and scenes are familiar! Keep up the good work, this blog is worth its weight in gold!
    Accounts Software For Small Business

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *